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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-03-21

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Valinakis' talks in Moscow
  • [02] World Day against Racism

  • [01] Valinakis' talks in Moscow

    Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Valinakis discussed the issue of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia's name, Kosovo and other important international and bilateral issues in Moscow on Friday with three of his counterparts and President Vladimir Putin's adviser on European Union issues Sergey Jastrzembski.

    Valynakis spoke of a "very interesting" series of contacts with the Russian Deputy Foreign Ministers Andrey Denisov, Alexander Grushko and Vladimir Titov, stressing that "the phenomenon of Greek ministers visiting Moscow to exchange views with their counterparts is now frequewnt and this is precisely what our two leaders decided when they laid the foundations for a new action programme for the years to come."

    Implementing the political consultations programme, the deputy foreign minister described as very important that Russia, being the Security Council's presiding country, should have a "full picture of our positions."

    He added that he outlined analytically for his counterparts that Greece "is making efforts for a solution on the issue of the name of FYROM through a mutually acceptable solution," adding that "we have done what we had to do, the other side is insisting on its intransigence and I explained precisely that under such conditions there can be no invitation for it to join NATO."

    Valynakis also referred to the fact that this year marks the 180th anniversary of diplomatic relations being concluded between Greece and Russia, a diplomatic tradition that Greece is honouring with the intensification of contacts "with the Russian side through political dialogue and continuous consultations."

    He went on to term the issue of Kosovo a "burning issue for all our region," assessing that "it has dangerous dimensions that must be taken note of," while explaining to the Russian side that Greece "is in that, small of course, group in the EU that has not recognised Kosovo."

    Greek-Russian diplomatic consultations also included OECD issues since, as of January 1, 2009, Greece will be holding the Organisation's presidency and it is interested in Russia's ideas and proposals.

    Speaking of Russia's "very important" role in this part of the world, Valynakis referred to cooperation between the two countries in the energy sector with the creation of "pipelines of peace, development and stability and, indeed, at a time when the cost of energy is increasing."

    He also stressed "as being a priority" the increase in bilateral contacts in the cultural and tourism sectors with "the attraction of a bigger wave of Russian tourists to our country," while visiting on the occasion Moscow's MITT International Tourism Exhibition on Thursday.

    Valynakis also visited Greek General Consulate in Moscow, expressing his support for the tourist development ministry's great effort to boost the tourist wave from Russia to Greece.

    An announcement by the Russian foreign ministry referred to the Greek-Russian consultations, noting that the two sides "discussed the consideration of joint European cooperation and certain issues of Greek-Russian cooperation in practical sectors."

    Valynakis is due back in Athens on Saturday morning.

    [02] World Day against Racism

    Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos issued a message on Friday on the occasion of World Day against Racism, saying that Greece "tolerates racial, national, cultural, linguistic and other differences and particularities and provides for their creative and fertile promotion and utilisation, by giving substantial chances and by promoting social cohesion."

    "The recent, full and comprehensive incorporation into national law of a series of Directives regarding equal treatment, regardless of racial or national origin, religious or other convictions, disability, age or sexual orientation, constitutes important progress towards eradicating phenomena of racism and xenophobia, with emphasis on access to employment," the minister added.

    In a symbolic gesture, meanwhile, Deputy Interior Minister Athanasios Nakos visited the Athens-area 5th high school, where 70 per cent of pupils are foreign nationals.


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